This Stranger Things Star Has Strong Feelings About 13 Reasons Why

Photo: Curtis Baker/Netflix
13 Reasons Why is one of the most talked-about series on Netflix, but not everyone endorses the show — at least, not for everyone. Stranger Things star Shannon Purser warned fans not to watch 13 Reasons Why if they are dealing with any of the issues that the series sheds light on, including suicidal thoughts and sexual assault.
Purser, who portrayed Barb on Stranger Things and currently recurs on Riverdale as Ethel alongside 13 Reasons Why star Ross Butler, tweeted a warning out to fans considering watching the Netflix series. In a series of tweets, Pursuer writes:
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"I would advise against watching 13 Reasons Why if you currently struggle with suicidal thoughts or self harm/have undergone sexual assault."
"There are some very graphic scenes in there that could easily trigger painful memories and feelings. Please protect yourselves."
"They do give advisory warnings before the episodes w/ graphic content, which I appreciate so much. Just know that they really are intense."
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13 Reasons Why is about Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a high school student who dies by suicide and then leaves behind 13 tapes detailing what led her to make such a permanent, tragic choice. While many have applauded the series for its raw, unflinching depiction of a young woman struggling in high school — the series includes an extremely graphic scene in which Hannah kills herself, as well as two separate scenes depicting rape — not everyone found the nature of the series helpful to those actually dealing with trauma.
"National and international research clearly indicates the very real impact and risk to harmful
suicide exposure leading to increased risk and possible suicide contagion," Headspace's manager of school support Kristen Douglas told The Huffington Post Australia. "It's not like car crashes or cancer; irresponsible reporting of suicide can lead to further death[s]. We need to talk more about youth suicide, but there's a way of doing that and a way we can raise those concerns and have a range of awareness."
Purser later added:
"There are lots of really good things about the show and I have no doubts that it is important and could be helpful to some. Just be careful."
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No matter how you feel about 13 Reasons Why, Purser makes an excellent point. If you don't think you will feel comfortable watching the series, or believe it may trigger negative or harmful feelings, it's perfectly okay to skip — no matter how much your friends are talking about the show. At the end of the day, taking care of yourself should be the number one priority.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the Samaritans on 116 123.
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